Sodexo at Binghamton University features U.S. Olympian Shannon Miller to kick-off new community and student wellness program

Feb 07, 2013, 12:18 ET from Sodexo at Binghamton University

VESTAL, N.Y., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shannon Miller remains the most decorated gymnast in American history and the only American to rank among the top 10 all-time gymnasts.  She is the only female athlete to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame – twice. Who better to engage students and the surrounding community in a health and wellness initiative at Binghamton University?

Miller's two-day visit began Monday, Feb. 4, when she was the featured speaker for the Binghamton University Athletics Club during the eighth annual Bearcats Celebrating Women's Athletics Luncheon. The event recognizes achievements and raises scholarships for the University's female student-athletes.

Sodexo, dining services partner for the University, sponsored Miller's appearance so that funds raised through the luncheon may go directly to student scholarships.

Later on Monday, Miller greeted Binghamton students and the surrounding community on the Binghamton University Events Center indoor track to kick off the school's new walking program, "Walk for the Health of It," a wellness initiative to encourage everyone to walk their way to better health and improved physical fitness.  

"All participants received a free pedometer and were entered to win a number of great prizes," said Bob Griffin, Sodexo's district marketing manager. "Shannon posed for pictures and signed autographs prior to kicking off the walk. What a special opportunity to meet a celebrated Olympian while getting exercise in the dead of winter."  

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Sodexo hosted a "Health, Wellness and Community Partnership" roundtable discussion from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Binghamton University Downtown Center. The event was free and open to the community. Miller was the keynote speaker for the event.  

In addition to Miller's participation, the community roundtable discussion included Claudia Edwards, director of the Broome County Health Department; Alan Wilmarth, MD, of UHS; Diane Craft, PhD from SUNY Cortland; Beth Winthrop, Product Development Director for Wellness, Sodexo Education Services; and Jeanne Molloy, Fordham University Dietitian.

"We were delighted to host U.S. Olympic gold gymnast Shannon Miller at Binghamton University," said Peter J. Napolitano, the University's director of auxiliary services. "Studies draw distinct correlations between exercise, health, classroom/workplace attendance, higher productivity, self-confidence and learning. It is a tremendous honor to welcome an athlete of Ms. Miller's caliber on campus as she supports our initiatives in partnering with our students, faculty and the community on wellness activities."

Binghamton University is dedicated to student health and wellness as evidenced through its newly renovated Rec Center at the East Gym and NourishU program in the dining halls. Earlier this year, the NourishU program placed second in the Most Innovative Nutrition Program category in the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) annual Nutrition Awards Program.

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SOURCE Sodexo at Binghamton University